Friday, January 11, 2008

If life's a highway, could you point me to the nearest exit?

2008 sucks. Well, for the most part...a lot of it. And then some of it doesn't. But right now in the moment and probably well into the future I'll think this was a really crappy time of my life. Then again, maybe so much heinous crap will happen in the future that this will look like small potatoes (okay, so I'm not good at looking on the bright side). Does anyone sense a rant coming on?

For a grand total of maybe 24 hours, I had that great beginning of the year feeling, where hey, it's time to start anew and maybe this year I'll accomplish my deliberately ambigous resolution to "be better." Alas, that great feeling of potential was squelched in record time when my grandfather had a heart attack on the morning of January 2nd. On the bright side, he made it through. But returning to sucky - he had to have bypass surgery, and he's currently ranked as "the healthiest person in the family," which doesn't really bode well for the rest of us, does it? So there were five days of visiting him in cardiac ICU before the operation. The day of the operation was among the longest on record, but he pulled through the operation and, we found out today, it was, for the most part successful, but he's still got lots of recovering to do.

I never realized how physically wearying it is to watch someone you love suffering or how mind-blowingly tiring it is to merely sit in a waiting room for all the waking hours of one day (or how well I can play a game of cards when I'm so tired I feel like I've been sedated). You would think that sitting in a waiting room for 14 hours in one day would afford me plenty of time to read about a zillion books. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to muster the intellectual fortitude necessary to do more than half-finish about 20 crossword puzzles. Yes, this story is on its way to what could be a happy ending, but gosh it's been a hard way to start a new year when all you desperately want to do is think that "this year things will be different." *sigh*

As it happens, I'm temping for the hospital where my grandfather is being treated. On the day of his heart attack I was supposed to have a job interview. For me, and I would hope for most people, the obvious decision was to reschedule the interview. In a moment of epic rottenness, the lady that was supposed to interview declined to reschedule. Whether this was because of my emergency cancellation or because she decided to not fill the job with a temp - what a kick in the head it was for me. I waited two weeks for this lady to come back from vacation to interview me, and what does she do? Shuts the door in my face. Talk about insult to injury. As it happens, this story has a semi-happy end, too. They managed to find me another job before my grandfather had even been operated on, but it's very part time, and I work in a lab which is just crazy for a person with an epic terror of collegiate lab science courses. So now, here am I, creatively inclined, liberal artsy, political science-y me brewing up solutions for the slide stainer and filing zillions of wax encased tissue samples into little drawers. Seeing as I've been waiting to be employed in my small town for oh, 4 months now, you would think this should have been a pretty happy time for me, but now it's just another hoop to jump through before I roll on up to the CCU to sit with my sick grandpa and whichever of my family members happens to be around and in need of a similar amount of emotional support.

So yeah, bear with me while I adjust to a few major life changes and advancing further into "grown-up-hood" which sucks kind of like the beginning of 2008. I'm catching up on my blog reading and obviously using my own blog as a therapeutic means of getting all this garbage out. Reading at a normal pace will, hopefully, resume in the very near future. In the meantime, you'll be happy to know, my crossword completion record has increased greatly over the last week.

All right, if you've stuck with me through all this immature ranting, you've earned the right to read this week's good news! I don't know if it's the influence of Buy a Friend a Book Week or that God knows that I use books in my mailbox as anti-depressants or simply that "book people" are awesome, but so many people from Bookcrossing/Bookobsessed have offered me free books (RABCKs) this week. I am astonished by, in awe of, and blessed by the kindesses of book lovers all the time - all the more right now, when it really helps to brighten up my day to have books in the mailbox after everything that's been going on.

In other shocking and pleasing news, I gave out one of my elite and coveted (hahaHA!) Leafy awards to A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly......and uh, she left me a comment on the post. For someone whose blogly reading base seems to consist of 4 or 5 people (hi to you 4 or 5 people - sorry about this post!), this was quite a fun surprise and a reminder that I'm not blogging in vacuum (again, uh, sorry about this post). She mentions being honored, but the honor is all mine. Cool, very cool. =)


  1. Megan, I'm thinking of you! It does sound like you've had a rough start to the year. :-( I am glad you at least have some sunlight coming in--your grandfather's recovery is promising, the books in the mail, the job (even if it's not ideal), and a note from an author (and oh, how exciting that is! I'd be walking on air!). Do you want to know something silly? I noticed that she commented on your blog and thought that was so cool that while out book shopping today, I picked up The Tea Rose. I don't know when I'll get around to reading it, but I still couldn't help myself.

    Anyhow, I do hope things improve for you as the year goes one. Fortunately, it's still early January and so there's hope even if it doesn't feel like it from where you sit right now. I'm sending positive vibes your way!

  2. As one of the "four or five" readers of your blog, never apologize for ranting! Life sucks but know that it's just a turn in the road. The road straightens out and life is good again. Hang in there!

    =) Jill

  3. Megan - I'll read any rant that's as well written as the one you just wrote. Seriously, you're a great writer and I love reading your blog.

    Don't give up on 2008. It's barely begun and I'm sure things will look up. Blessings on your grandfather - I hope he recovers quickly and well.

  4. I'm sorry the year is starting off so badly. :( But at least there's good book stuff going on! At the risk of sounding too New Age-y, I'll be sending positive thoughts your way. ;)

    (P.S.-I think growing up-hood sucks as well!)

  5. Well, maybe you're just getting the ugliness out of the way and the rest of the year will be grand.

    Let's hope so.

  6. Megan, I feel for you. I spent New Year's Eve in the emergency room with my father who was showing all the signs of suffering a heart attack. Luckily, the emergency room staff was able to get his heart under control before real damage was done but I spent about 14 hours a day for the next four days sitting with him while he was under observation in the hospital. I was exhausted by all that sitting, so I know exactly what you mean.

    Glad to hear that things will work out well for you guys in the long run. Hang in there.

  7. Megan -

    People who have never had the experience you're having really don't know how exhausting the act of waiting can be. I've been there and I can totally understand and relate. You're in my thoughts, and as I've told Bookfool, remember to take time to care for yourself. You can't be there for the rest of your family if you don't.

    It's totaly cool how the Jennifer acknowledged you! I'll have to check her out.

    Try to remember that things usually get better, especially with your grandfather's improvement.


  8. Thanks everybody for your kind words and support. My grandfather's doing better and should hopefully be getting discharged from the hospital this week (maybe, hopefully, tomorrow!).

    Here's hoping that, indeed, the year does improve from here on out! And again, thanks to all of you for you encouragement - I'm so happy to be a part of this super nice book loving blogger community (and hey, it looks like I've got at least 7 readers now)! ;-)

  9. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather and your starting off the new year badly. But hey, things will get better and better.

    I've been there with my mother during her numbered days of fighting cancer so I can relate. Don't give up and hang in there. Wish you well. :)

  10. Hi Megan,

    I'm sending another great book your way, and you can count me among the readers of your blog! I'm sending you a hug from San Diego. In 1999 and 2001, and sat in hospitals as each of my parents suffered illnesses and passed away. Sometimes I'm painfully (and so embarassingly) jealous of my friends who still have living, healthy parents and grandparents. Isn't it awful to feel that way? Losing my parents is the hardest thing I've ever done. I was so close to them and miss them every day. I guess watching loved ones, especially older relatives, suffer illnesses and/or pass away is a natural part of the growing up thing, which does suck in many ways. But there are some really good things about growing up also. The ability to make your own bad decisions (just kidding), creating something enduring (family or kids or art or book or blog, etc. could be almost anything), seeing the positive effect you have on the world around you. I know it sounds very "It's A Wonderful Life"-ish, but still true.

    I'm so glad your grandfather is doing better. Imagine how meaningful it was to him to have you sitting there loving him! And how luck are you to have someone in your life to love that much? I can't wait to someday have grandkids feel that way about me! Maybe that's what it's all about??

    We'll keep working on 2008, OK?

  11. Matt, thanks. Things are all ready starting to look up, so hopefully they'll keep heading in that direction. =)

    Judy, thanks so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your kind words. I can certainly understand your envy for living, healthy parents/grandparents, but having all said relatives is a little scary at the same time. I've got all four grandparents left (and, this always shocks people, a great-grandmother as well), and I'd say that I'm very close to all of them. There's no way to describe how frightened I am (especially when stuff like this with my grandfather happens) of the inevitable time that I will lose all of them, but I'm trying to get the most out of my time with them now, so that's all you can really do, right? :-/